The Paka sweater is as light as it is warm, and is made by local artisans

Keeping warm doesn’t have to weigh you down. If you’re being enveloped in the embrace of alpaca wool, you won’t mind that winter is coming. And if you’re in the market for alpaca wool, look no further than Kickstarter, where backers have just made the Paka sweater the most popular fashion campaign currently on the crowdfunding site.

These handmade sweaters promise to make you feel warm and fuzzy in every sense of the word. Not only does the Paka sweater promise to be impossibly soft and comfortable, but the Paka team also depends upon Peruvian weavers who are given the opportunity to multiply their daily earnings eight times over. Indeed, Paka seeks to employ local artists, and in particular, local women. This, the team says, ought to allow “women to move from manual, unskilled labor to skilled, passionate work.” The hope is to help Paka weavers sustain both their heritage and the Inca culture. So when you buy a Paka sweater, you know that you’re buying into tradition and supporting a worthy cause.

But what’s so special about the sweater itself? First of all, it’s made from alpaca fur, which is said to be the most durable mammal fiber in the world, and also the warmest. In fact, it’s said that the only thing warmer than alpaca wool is polar bear fur. Not only is it sustainable, but it’s also hypoallergenic because it doesn’t contain lanolin (the grease in other animal fibers that causes itching) and is three times lighter than sheep’s wool.

Moreover, it promises to wick moisture, as the water retention rate for alpaca is just 8 percent, compared to the 16 to 20 percent rates of other wools, and the sweater also ought to resist odor. Really, whether you’re climbing the Andes or just hanging out at home, you’re covered.

The flexible sides of the Paka feature a unique weaving pattern promising maximum breathability, while a three-panel hood is designed to maximize space for your head and remove the elf-like peaks that you get from most hoodies. A hand-stitched mesh material covers the comfort-V for those who aren’t fans of the crew neck, and all sweaters are unisex so you and your family members can share (though you probably won’t want to). Both the hoodie and crewneck are made of a 60-percent alpaca, 5-percent merino, and 35-percent polyamide blend.

You can pre-order a sweater now and support local weavers starting at $99 for the crew neck, with an estimated delivery date of November 2017.


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